‘When I started playing cricket, was told to take drugs to bowl fast,’ reveals Shoaib Akhtar - Report
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers of his time. Akhtar was known for his raw pace that not only knocked down stumps but also instilled fears in the minds and hearts of several of his peers during his playing days.
Akhtar, to this day, holds the record of bowling the fastest recorded delivery in international cricket. Akhtar achieved the feat during a match against England at the 2003 World Cup when he clocked a delivery to Nick Knight at 161.3 kph.
Nicknamed ‘the Rawalpindi Express’ because of his express pace, Akhtar also suffered numerous injuries to his career. In a recent interview, Akhtar revealed that he was asked to take drugs to bowl at 100kph when he started his career, but he refused to do so.
“When I started paying cricket I was told you can’t bowl fast and to achieve good speed of 100 mph I will have to use drugs. But I have always refused to do so,” Akhtar said in an address at the Anti-Narcotics Forces’ (ANF) annual drug burning ceremony, according to Cricket Pakistan.
Akhtar, meanwhile, also tweeted a few images of the event on Twitter, and in the caption, he asked youngsters to focus on health to attain a bright future.
“It was my honor being the speaker/guest of honor at the symbolic drug burning ceremony by Anti Narcotics Force of Pakistan. ANF is making efforts to the best of its capacity & resources for a drug free Pakistan. Play sports, work out & do healthy activities for a bright future,” Akhtar captioned the tweet.
In his career, Akhtar went on to play 46 Tests in which he picked up 178 wickets at an average of 25.7. He also played 163 ODIs in which he picked 247 wickets and also picked 19 scalps in 15 T20Is.